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March 22/99 7:01 am - Birthday, Italy, Sea Otter Story, Memorial, Euro Results


Posted by Editor on 03/22/99
 

Happy Birthday To...

National Road Team member Sylvain Beauchamp.


Report From Italy
(courtesy Paul Kelly)

Howdy all, here is Sunday's race report:

Marini Victorious at the 39th G.P. San Giuseppe

Sunday March 21, 1999. Montecassiano (PE), Italy

Mirko Marini, a 24 year old rider of the L'Edile Rosa OK BABY Gaverina squad, took Sunday's 39th G.P. San Giuseppe with commanding style in an aggressive hilltop sprint, ahead of 3 breakaway companions. Their 45 km. break held strong on the wind battered and hilly Montecassiano circuit, fueled by the support of thousands of spectators who turned up to watch the classic. At a maximum gap of 50 seconds, the lead group concluded the fast UCI 1.6 International event 7 seconds ahead of Espoir World Champion Ivan Basso and the decimated field of 23 riders.

159 competitors started the event, but a selective climb and little room for recovery rang up a heavy toll for those less prepared for the furious pace. Nine laps of various loops over Montecassiano whittled away the weak - for the most part, the delegations of stranieri (non-Italian national and trade team athletes) who had come in hope of collecting a few UCI points. Looking for the reason behind the domestic charge of the top twenty, one had to look no further than the lead car - sitting shotgun was Giancarlo Montedori, part of the Italian Cycling Federation's team selection committee.

(I completed 5 grueling laps before being dropped for good - as was the case in last year's race. And here I thought that the new UCI/IOC drug regulations would slow things down a little bit! )


ELITA's Kim Langton sprints to victory in Sea Otter Sprinters Competition
(courtesy Dave Cathcart of Team Elita)

A weekend of challenging racing in the Monterey peninsula has ended and a new star on Team ELITA is born. Known more for her tactical savvy than blazing speed, Team ELITA's captain Kim Langton proved at the SRAM Sea Otter Classic that she is more than just a good team leader. Matched against an unbelievable Saturn powerhouse, Langton managed to wrestle away the coveted Green Jersey from Lyne Bessette and Anna Wilson with the support of her Team ELITA mates.

The Sea Otter's first stage, an 8km prologue, would define the shape of the race. Fresh back from a World Cup win in Sydney, Saturn's Anna Wilson would be the class of the field. One of the first starters, Wilson's time would never be matched and catapulted her into the leader's jersey for stage two. Team ELITA's best finish was a promising 11th from Cybil DiGuistini.

The highlight of the SRAM Sea Otter Classic was certainly the road race held on the roads of neighbouring Fort Ord. Its gut wrenching climbs and twisty descents would test the mettle of the world's best. Proof of this were the riders sliding out the back of the field on the first long climb - Linda Jackson of Timex and Jeannie Longo of France!! The pace of the first lap was kept high by a Saturn contingent that didn'' want to see anything get away. The only thing to get by them briefly was ELITA's Langton as she blazed around them to pick up the first sprinters points at the top of the longest climb. Kim managed to repeat this feat on the second and third laps before Saturn moved to the front to prepare for a bunch sprint. Saturn's train led out for the last 2 kilometres but obviously the rigours of the circuit had diminished them as three riders snuck by them for the sprint win - Karen Dunne of Voler, Marie Holjer of Lemond and Liz Emery of Celestial Seasonings. Team ELITA's contingent finished in the pack.

On the final day, Laguna Seca's famous F1 race track was the hurdle as the field tackled its many climbs 12 times. What's more, on alternating laps the field had to contest points sprints and time bonus sprints. Team ELITA would have their work cut out for them! At the bell for the first sprint, Team ELITA's red freight train was set up beautifully and Langton scooped the sprint ahead of Bessette and Wilson. The next sprint lap it was ELITA's Melanie Dorion who assisted Langton in thwarting the Saturn effort. On the third sprint it was Langton again, followed by Dorion. But the laps were taking their toll. Now that the jersey was locked up, we turned to survival mode for the finish. Fortunately, the sprints ended with 5 laps to go and the field cruised in behind an amazing Anna Wilson who took her second stage of the classic.


Jake Watson Memorial Page

With the help of Steve Fleury of Mountain Cycle, MTB Review has created a memorial web page for Jake Watson. It includes a poem written by Jake's Mom about this great loss. The page also allows visitors to post their condolences and sentiments which will all be forwarded to the Watson family.

Since we put this page up 2 days ago, over 70 people have posted their condolences on this page. I think this really captures the bond that exists between our fellow mountain bikers. We invite you to visit and celebrate the life of Jake Watson:

http://www.mtbr.com/passion/messages/135953.html


Setmana Catalana, Spain

Stage 1 - Lloret de Mar, 172 km

1. Marcel Wust (Ger) Festina-Lotus 4:31:57
2. Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom at 0:20
3. Gian Matteo Fagnini (Ita) Saeco-Cannondale
4. Biagio Conte (Ita) Liquigas
5. Angel Edo (Esp) Kelme-Costa Blanca all s.t.


Paris to Ancaster Registration

Just a reminder that the Paris to Ancaster enduro is approaching, so you should get your registrations in. Go Here to register online.

 


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